Response to Church Burnings in the United States

In response to the alarming number of church burnings in the United States, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius has instructed the Central Church Administration to focus attention on this national tragedy during the November OCA Charity Appeal.

Until then, His Beatitude is asking the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America to pray for the members of the affected religious communities. Should the faithful wish to make contributions to assist the affected black churches, a special fund is being established as part of the November Charity Appeal. Contributions can be made to the “Assistance Fund for Black Churches” of the Orthodox Church in America.

Statement of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops (SCOBA) Condemning the Desecration and Burning of Churches in the United States

We the Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, meeting in our regular Spring session, wish to add our voice to those of people of good will everywhere in condemning in the strongest possible way the continuing desecration and burning of churches in the United States. It is disturbing that this appears to be a pattern of violence that is racially motivated.

One of the fundamental principles of a free society is religious liberty and tolerance. Those who burn churches undermine the very foundation of our country.

But even more, houses of worship are symbols of the freedom that comes from God. They are signs of the love of God for us and our love for God. They are the places where we lift up our praise to God. Those who attack churches wish to rob us of this freedom, this hope, and this love.

As leaders of the Orthodox Church we stand with those people who have suffered this devastation. We urge all of our faithful to join with us in assisting the rebuilding of these vandalized and desecrated houses of worship. We call upon all people to declare that bigotry, bias, and violence must be erased from society.